The President's Cancer Panel is urging federal and state health authorities to do a better job protecting children from preventable cancers by improving access to the HPV vaccine, which could mean a big bump in sales.
When the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked into the reasons behind low uptake of GlaxoSmithKline's and Merck's human papillomavirus vaccines last year, the effect of parental attitudes to sex grabbed the headlines. Yet while parents may fear the vaccine will lead to risky sex, all the evidence suggests otherwise.
A new study in JAMA Pediatrics finds that sex and money each play a role in U.S. parents' reluctance to vaccinate their children against the human papillomavirus. But a lack of easy-to-understand information about the shots--and often, the lack of a doctor's clear recommendation for them--are also helping to depress vaccination rates.
While half of U.S. teenage girls receive one dose of human papillomavirus vaccine, far fewer come back to complete the regimen. What is less clear is whether one dose offers any protection, but a new study offers some hope.
The public health push to vaccinate both boys and girls against human papillomavirus has been hindered by a lack of studies showing that the jabs prevent forms of cancer other than cervical. Now data on throat cancer are emerging a week after an anal disease study.
In 2007, Merck spent $100 million promoting its human papillomavirus vaccine, Gardasil. The advertising blitz helped sales top $1 billion, but earnings fell away quickly over the next few years. Many people are critical of the vaccine, but lots more simply do not know it exists.
GlaxoSmithKline and Merck are slashing the prices of their HPV vaccinations in a deal with the GAVI Alliance, which delivers immunizations to the developing world.
Social issues have held back uptake of GlaxoSmithKline and Merck human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines in the U.S., but globally the problem is more fundamental--the shots cost too much. It is these low-income countries--where 85% of cervical cancer cases occur--that need the vaccines most though.
New research suggests that two doses of human papillomavirus vaccine could be as effective as the current three-dose regimen, which would increase uptake.
Public health experts are worried about the latest numbers on HPV vaccine uptake. After all, the shots can prevent cervical cancer, and that's no small thing. so, with a majority of girls eschewing the shots, government officials and others are trying to figure out how to turn the tide.